Let’s talk pennies and chalk, comb-overs and turkey manure

By: Tony Overbay, humor columnist, special to the News Messenger
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In every profession, I’m sure there are items that make one scratch their heads in bewilderment or laugh in amusement.
As a therapist, I see plenty. Whether it’s the individual who acts as normal as anyone to the outside world but who secretly confesses to traveling through electrical wires once the door closes or those who believe that, “Hey, we’ve all specifically plotted out taking over the world, right? Right?”
And then there was the guy who stayed up for days on end existing entirely on a diet of pennies and chalk but came to me to talk about his relationship failures.
I’ve also learned that this phenomenon is true from my clients. I saw an ER nurse regularly for several months who wanted to spend the first five minutes of every session telling me about all of the odd things that she saw come into the emergency room. Her husband didn’t have the stomach for it, but apparently as someone getting paid to listen, I did.
I had a very candid conversation with a hair stylist once about how she often had to bite her lip when the customer would come in asking for the mullet with the date being nowhere near Halloween or the balding guy who would insist on keeping a 12-inch strip of hair on top for the comb-over look. (As a bald guy myself who once came dangerously close to sporting a comb over of my own, I can joke about this. To this day, I’m grateful for the intervention organized by my wife.)
I saw an example of this that takes the cake just a few days ago while at Fedex. I simply needed to run in and drop off a box; it would only take me a couple of seconds.
I’ve thought about what I saw sitting on the counter enough over the past few days to turn it into a column and possibly pitch it as an upcoming reality series. Apparently, even box manufacturers are in on the fun.
Let me digress.
Recently, I purchased some gear from a Web site called Moosejaw. The site was easy to navigate and the products I purchased were a great deal (no, I get nothing for this plug).
When the boxes came, I became an even bigger fan. They were covered in funny stickers and advice, telling me not to use sharp objects to open, to be careful or I’d lose an eye. They’d obviously had fun with the packaging design. No doubt the box manufacturer who bagged the Moosejaw account not only appreciated the business but also adding a little humor into their day.
Well, the box I saw on the counter was equally as funny but I don’t think it was created as a joke. It was serious. It was the box equivalent to the guy with the mullet or the man with the comb over.
The box said, and I couldn’t make this up, “Use caution when opening, fresh turkey manure.” Granted, I’m sure the recipient will appreciate the advice. I’d hate to be the guy going crazy with the X-Acto knife excitedly opening his new box of turkey manure on his desk next to his enchilada platter.
And to think, some trees grow up to be the Rockefeller Christmas Tree; others, they become a box donning the words “Fresh Turkey Manure.”
At least that box had a better fate in store than those pennies and chalk!

– Tony Overbay is a Lincoln resident.